Henry Portlock Roberts

1788 - ????


  1. Likely to be the Henry Portlock, son of Thomas and Hannah Roberts, baptised 15/06/1788 in Avening, Gloucestershire. His parents Thomas and Hannah nee Portlock had married in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, 01/04/1787.

  2. Overseer on Bloxburgh Estate in 1819 and the early 1820s. Henry P. Roberts was described by Benjamin M'Mahon in the following passage: "The overseer, Henry P. Roberts was really a good man, and detested the brutal practices of slavery as much as any man, but he was obliged to go with the stream, and to wink at the cruelties practised by the drivers; so that although he carried on his professional duties according to the general rules laid down, he was considered by his neighbours unfit to have charge of a gang of slaves, on account of his meekness, and it is my firm belief, he could not have obtained a situation any where else in the parish." Roberts later was unable to reconcile himself with the cruel behaviour of the owner's friend Charles Austin "and he was therefore necessitated to throw up his situation, and leave the country. He afterwards returned to the island and lived in Kingston as an honest and upright man for several years, but at length died bearing with him the prayers and good wishes of all good men."

  3. On 20 November 1820 Roberts paid 10s for the manumission of Mary Hancock and her daughter Maria Pearce. Mary Ann Hancock, age 35, "mulatto", appears in the slave register on Bloxburgh estate in 1817 with her daughter Maria Pearce, age 8, "quadroon". In the slave register of 1820 Henry P. Roberts records that he purchased both of them from Thomas Penny Kellerman in 1817 and in 1823 that he has manumitted them.


  1. Ancestry.com, Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1813 [database online]; Ancestry.com, Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1938 [database online].

  2. Benjamin McMahon, Jamaica Plantership: Eighteen Years Employed in the Planting Line in that Island (1839) pp. 20-22.

  3. http://www.jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Samples/Manumit1.htm; see estate information.

We are grateful to Siddharth Singh Ahlawat for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Johanna Osborne

Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1819 [EA] - → Overseer
1823 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner
1826 [EA] - → Attorney
1829 [EA] - 1830 [LA] → Attorney

Relationships (1)

Husband → Wife